When traveling with your pet, it is important to ensure she is properly secured in a dog box.This will prevent injuries if you make abrupt stops or turns and also will allow you to keep your focus on driving. Homemade dog boxes are an economical alternative and can be customized to fit your dog and vehicle.
Dog boxes are exposed to all sorts of weather. If you live in an area that receives significant rainfall or snow, take extra precaution when choosing plywood to build your dog box. Cedar, locust and redwood are known for resisting insects and moisture. They are a bit more expensive than pine or oak but will last much longer.
Determine how much plywood you need by measuring the bed of your truck. Ideally, the box will fit snugly between the tire wells. Make sure your dog can turn around and stand to full height. This will make longer trips more comfortable.
Other materials you will need are nails, hinges, and a lock. If you do not like the color of the wood, buy stain or paint. Either use a front grate so the air can circulate and your dog can see out or drill holes for ventilation. Standard galvanized fencing works well for the front grate. These materials are readily available at home improvement stores.
If you do not own a saw, have the wood cut to size at the store. Both Home Depot and Lowe's offer the first two cuts for free and will make additional cuts for a small fee. You'll also need a level, hammer and screwdriver.
To assemble your dog box, you will need a helper to hold the pieces while you hammer. If you have children, this is a good project to work on as a family. Paint or stain the wood first because it is easier before assembly.
After the paint or stain dries, nail one side to the back of the box, having your helper hold the pieces in place. Nail the other side to the back, then turn the box over so you can nail the bottom to the three sides.
For the front door, attach the fencing to the "window." Attach the door to the box using hinges. Make sure the doors are securely fastened so the dogs cannot get out. Screw the latch in place and test the door by putting your dogs into the box. If they can easily make the door bow at the top or bottom, add another hinge.